THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life

He Shakes Me to Reach Me


Image courtesy of Wilson Mrema Kyalo
Image courtesy of Wilson Mrema Kyalo

I’m so excited

Why Jean?

Because of the word of God upon my life.

Really?

Sure!

Ok…which word?

You see, I have been asking Him why He created me, why I am still in this place and why He has been silent for a while but today He spoke the answer to my heart.

Really?

Yup!

How come he responded this time?

John, what is wrong with you?

Why?

You don’t seem to be taking what I am saying seriously

Oh, believe me I am.  I just really want to understand

Understand what?

What changed that today you heard His answer after days and months of silence.

Does something have to change for me to hear Him?

Sure! Maybe the questions you were asking changed, or you attitude changed or your perspectives broadened.

Coming to think of it, this week I stopped asking why and asked God what He had for me.

I knew it! Something had to have changed for the answer to be so clear. Please…continue! What did He say about your life?

So God told me that I am still where I am and working in that place for His redemptive purpose

What do you mean by redemptive purpose?

Image courtesy of Wilson Mrema Kyalo
Image courtesy of Wilson Mrema Kyalo

You can’t mean to tell me you don’t know what that is?

Well, my understanding is that it is living out our lives for the glory of God first and then for the good of the people to bring them close to God.

Absolutely! It means that my life and living will change the lives of people because I am there. I make room for people to reach their full potential. I am the channel that God is using to make them understand His purpose in their lives.

Wow! That is intense and sounds a bit self-involved.

Self-involved?

Yes, you are talking as if only you are selected or chosen and others are slightly less than enough for the plan and purpose of God.

That is not what I mean?

Then what do you mean?

It means that I am an appointed agent of God, divinely appointed to live out my life for Him. A life based on the fact that God is faithful and He will give me the strength to do all He needs done and lead all those people to His throne room.

All that is good but can I ask a question?

Sure!

What about your redemptive purpose?

What do you mean by my redemptive purpose?

Well, God did send you where you are with the experiences you have  been throug for your own good too

He sent me here so that those around me who don’t know or love Him will come to Him and change their ways.

That may be true….

Image courtesy of Wilson Mrema Kyalo
Image courtesy of Wilson Mrema Kyalo

May be true? It is a certainty! Are you doubtful that God sent me and that I hear His voice clearly? Are you calling me deluded and unable to make things work?

Not at all!

So what do you mean by my redemptive purpose?

Let me paint a picture…when a tree is planted, its purpose is to grow, provide shade, provide food (if it is one of those), and produce seed to be able to propagate its kind.

True.

So why not you?

Mmmmmmmhhhh!

When God sent you to any environment, it is indeed possible that His plan is for the good of the people who are there. However, have you ever stopped to think that this place is all about you?

Of course it is about me bringing people to God and showcasing who He is.

No! not really!

What do you mean no?

I believe that everywhere God places us is all about learning about Him, from Him and becoming all He created us to  be.

Yes, learning to share Him with others in such a way that people will come to know Him

What is the best way for people to come to know Him?

To hear His word

Not really!

What do you mean not really?

The best way for people to learn about God is to see us showcase Him fully.

Isn’t that what I said?

Yes, but there is so much more to it. What is the best way to showcase God?

To know Him intimately

Image courtesy of Wilson Mrema Kyalo
Image courtesy of Wilson Mrema Kyalo

Which means?

To be very close to Him, know his voice, respond to His instructions and be all He created me to be?

What is the best way to do that?

To spend time with Him.

Sure but there is more…what is the best way to do this?

I don’t know…none of my answers seem right

Let me help…the best way to become like Him is to go through trouble.

What???

The best way to really know God and become like Him is to go through trouble.

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Is there ‘trouble’ in your life that is meant to push you towards your God-given purpose?

THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life

When I Gave Everything To God I Failed


Photo taken in Anahein CA,  Courtesy of Roskyn Pryor
Photo taken in Anahein CA,
Courtesy of Roskyn Pryor

Did I ever tell you that when I gave everything to God it all failed.

Really?

Yup!

What do you mean?

A few months ago, I finally got to the end of myself and my abilities to make things work and I finally laid it down for God.

What do you mean?

What do I mean by what?

Why do you mean by you finally gave God everything? I thought that when you got saved you did all that and your life changed?

For sure I did and my life changed but I think I later picked things up one by one.

Why?

Well, I think I needed to leave things at his feet and but the need for control meant I began holding on to them as my own.

Eh…at the risk of being redundant…what do you mean? Please tell it to me like a two-year-old.

Ok, let’s go back in time for this one. Several years ago, I got tired of always being on the threshold of greatness all the time and never really getting there especially in my business. I began to do everything I could to grow my business. I struck alliances, joined networking groups, sought out coaches, got lots of advice from many people and basically did everything I was told to do to make myself and the business visible and hoped that profitability will follow.

Ok…

For a while, it worked but then things suddenly slowed down and we were hit by every kind of stagnation possible. The jobs we had always done so well, became a drag, the places that were full of ideas and solutions dried up and the work relationships that thrived became tedious and like millstones around our necks.

Uhu?

I basically began to die from the inside but carefully maintained the external facade that all was well and I was growing and thriving.

How were you feeling on the inside?

I was shrivelling up and dying but was terrified to tell anyone about it

Why?

Photo taken in Anahein CA,  Courtesy of Roskyn Pryor
Photo taken in Anahein CA,
Courtesy of Roskyn Pryor

Well, simply because everyone had always relied on me for so long. I wasn’t about to let them down or explain that I was as lost as them or even a bit more so. So I put on a brave face and toughed it out for as long as I could.

Toughed it out?

Yes.

How long did that last?

A couple of years

Then what happened to change it all?

We were in the middle of a project and funds were delayed so we were having supplier issues that were obvious to all. However, because I was the team leader I had to bridge the gap.

Wow!

Yeah…it hurt like crazy because I was doing all I could to keep things afloat and we were barely afloat. I would wake up in the middle of the night having panic attacks and once up would only sleep a poor fitful sleep for the rest of the night because I was scared that I would wake up and find that I had lost everything and was living on the street.

Why was that so terrifying?

Dude, I am born middle class and I don’t know how to live below my class.

Below your class?

Do you expect me to get on public transport to travel around?

Eh…middle class people do that.

That is lower middle class and I wasn’t a part of that scene. I have travelled by public transport, but I have also always had access to a car since I was born? I have eaten meat every week now I couldn’t eat meat every week because I didn’t have enough money? I couldn’t even go out and have ice-cream because I couldn’t afford it?

But you experienced that level of lack?

Yes I did.

How?

We ‘lost’ a couple of our major clients and the house fell apart. Then I realised that I had built a house of card and one day it would have crash.

What did you do?

I ranted and raved at God calling him a liar and cheat because He had promised me success yet all He had allowed to come my way up to that point was pain, struggle and loss.

Really?

Yup!

And then…

I tried getting tenders but that too didn’t bear fruit. It tried networking and it did that work. I was so lost I was also desperate to make it work no matter what. So I started asking myself why I couldn’t fully describe what we did and the answer was simply that I was terrified.

Terrified of what?

That’s a good question…I’m not exactly sure

So…

I went for a meeting and the Servant of God was talking about how we must learn to fully trust God and give Him everything in life and allow Him to do as He commands us to do with our lives to bring Himself honour.

What?

Yup…I was torn about it for a while then I realised that my way hadn’t borne any fruit so surely what bad could happen if I trusted God for this one.

Mmmmhhhh…then?

Photo taken in Anahein CA,  Courtesy of Roskyn Pryor
Photo taken in Anahein CA,
Courtesy of Roskyn Pryor

At the end of the teaching the speaker prayed for all of us and then asked us to focus on what God has said. Then he asked how many of us know the beginning from the end.

Beginning from the end?

Sure…where you were when God found you and where He is taking you. Who has He said you are and where has He said you are going?

Can we be sure of that?

Of course…think about Abraham, he knew God was taking him to a land of promise and he would father nations. All he didn’t know was when and how it would happen. Isn’t that the same way God is with us?

I think so…

So I just had to reconnect with what God had spoken about me and then apply it to everything. Remember how in Isaiah 1:5, God told Isaiah, ‘…do not call yourself a child because I created you a prophet.’ Surely there is a very specific reason God created me to and I need to ensure that I am walking in that order. The things that were top of mind right there, were the business, my family and friends. Would the business thrive against the backdrop of God being the CEO and in charge of it all or would it unravel? How would I be able to  measure the changes that would come to my family and make room for all others who need help? Would I be able to hold onto my life and the life of those around me?

So what did you do?

I sat on the floor!

What? Literally?

Yup! I sat on the floor!

In the middle of a meeting?

Yup!

Why?

Because I needed to think and being on the seat, all concerned about my appearance and image was a distraction. I needed to get past my comfort zone and into a place where discomfort gave me focus.

Did it?

Sure, as I sat there, I begun to see very clearly when all drama begun to unfold.

What do you mean?

Quite simple really. I understood that the day I choose to make money over having impact, was the day that the deep connection to client needs and the ability to provide solutions began to die. The day I chose money over my calling was the start of the great decline. I needed to find a way back to the plan and path God created for me or die. That was one of the hardest choices I had to make.

What?

I now needed to choose whether to take God’s way or my way?

Ok, please explain because all the while I have known you, your faith has been an encouragement me to me.

Just being a Christian was no longer enough for me. I had to choose to live in the space and in the way God created for me regardless of the ‘challenges’ He allowed to come my way. I learnt that if there was a lesson to learn by taking public transport then I needed to get into that vehicle and then watch and see the goodness of Him who called me. I can’t say that I have it all answered and in place, but I am choosing to daily ensure that my choices are aligned with His word and that alone.

Is it easy?

Mwanza Tanzania Courtesy of Moses Nderitu
Mwanza Tanzania
Courtesy of Moses Nderitu

Nope! I just choose to believe that God truly works for my good and as long as I walk in His ways I will be fine.

Have you been fine?

Sure. I haven’t gone hungry, or lacked bus fare when I need to travel or missed an important event. He has supplied my needs but not my wants. I have learnt to make the distinction and live in this place of victory.

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  • Are there things we are holding on to that God has asked us to let go of?
  • Do we really trust him to provide all our needs and bring us good success?

Let’s walk on together